How easy is it to go for someone's eyes in a fight?

In the chimpanzee on human fights I’ve read about, the chimps seem to have little difficulty getting the human’s eyes. I’m wondering how easy and effective it is to go for people’s eyes in hand to hand combat.

Do some techniques work better than others?

If it has a good mix of ease and effectiveness, how come we seldom see it in actual fights where the fighters are genuinely hostile to each other?

No, don’t need answer quick, the question just occurred to me after watching Hannibal.

I’ve been training in shito ryu karate since the late 1970s, and that was one of the early techniques that we were taught. Index finger and ring finger going into the eyes, leaving the middle finger to help push your fingers out.
At that point the fight is over.

Obviously only used in desperation, as are most offensive moves we are taught.

It’s not easy to land a solid punch on someone’s chin in a stand-up fight. Delivering a poke to the eyes if you’re squared off? Pretty difficult, I’d say.

Now if you’re wrasslin’ around, different story.

It was once quite common in the South, in rough-and-tumble fighting.

On two occassions I have taken a finger in the eye when I had someone in a hold on the ground they could not otherwise get out of. On both occassion I submitted rather than loose my eye. I honestly cannot rememeber any of the details beyond being on the ground and holding someone. I could have probably gotten out of it but did not wish to take the chance. You never know if someone is going to push the finger in deeper or not.

How often do you see fights were the fighters are genuinely hostile to each other? Most fights are either simulated on TV or in a movie or part of an athletic competition. And even “real” fights are usually between two guys who’ve had a few too many drinks and are mostly shoving each other around rather than trying to kill each other.

“Go for the Eyes, Boo!”
(Wasn’t it 2 weeks ago that we had a “is Baldurs Gate Racist?” thread? )

Why would I want to punch someone in the chin with an unpadded fist? That HURTS

If you can punch someone in the eye you can poke him in the eye. It’s not as easy to punch someone in the eye as you may think. As a surprise move, sure. But if the other guy knows he’s going to get hit some way he just might cover up or move. And if you miss with your poke attempt he’s not likely to continue the fight according to the Marquess of Queensbury rules.

I’m just using it as a size comparison between targets.

We used to train an eye jab. More of a raking flick. The idea was to catch any part of the eye, which would cause the opponent to tear up, blink, or otherwise be distracted. Which would allow you to move in with more devastating tools like headbutts, knees, and elbows.

Of course, we could never really train it, and I never had cause to use it. I never had the idea that it would be a high percentage strike. Impressed me as a pretty small target. A nice jab/straight punch to the face, or head slap, would give much of the same results with higher margin for error.

I always favored the highest percentage strikes which could be applied in combination. Eye attacks never made it to my top 5-7 strikes/kicks. And I always found it best to endlessly work those attacks I was going to want to rely on.

BTW - I’ve got no idea about those human v chimp fights alluded to, and have no idea what dynamics could cause eye attacks in such confrontations.

I think it would be an excellent sneak attack and a very difficult “nomral” blow to land.

I use this (double end bag) and this (a mannequin mounted on a heavy industrial spring) to train with. A flick to the eye is a very very fast movement, but, is going to be best on a stationary target as a sneak attack. Pinpoint precision with a double end bag is very very hard… the type of speed/skill set a professional boxer will have.

I doubt many non-boxers appreciate the level of skill required to use a double-end or speed bag. Loved to work them - never got terribly good at either. Of course, doubt many unskilled opponents will be bobbing and weaving effectively… :wink:

Boxers rock! - in terms of footwork, head/body motion, and hand speed/power/combinations. One of the high points of my MA training was when a sparring partner - quite a good boxer - complimented me on my jab. I had been working on my right hand jab to set up most of the rest of my techniques, and had gotten to the point where I could regularly beat him to the punch and land it.

Agreed. The universal human fight plan is to make your hands into fists and try to strike the opponent’s face until they submit. It’s an instinctive response to aggression that is common across all societies. As Little Nemo observes, most human fights are just people trying to batter each other in the hopes that the enemy will submit and retreat.

In reality, it’s REALLY easy to gouge an eyeball, especially if the fight goes to the ground (and most “real” fights will). The bigger problem is that there is just no way to practice gouging eyeballs in a controlled environment. Classes I’ve taken simulated eye attacks on a rubber dummy or by clawing at a target wearing some kind of protective mask… Close, but not quite the same thing.

That is impressive. You are obviously very gifted with speed/dexterity/athleticism. I kind of envy you actually…

Possibly WAS! Now I’m just an old man! :smiley:

JKD was my base when I started training. IMO there are a lot worse things to practice than a good straight lead punch. I couldn’t do very much, but I worked hard on doing a couple of things pretty well.

And I tried to work EVERYTHING at least a little bit - you know, those tools in the bottom of the tool box that you might forget you have but really come in useful every year or 2! :wink: I was a shitty grappler, but a better grappler than most boxers. And mediocre with knives/sticks, but better with weapons than many grapplers. Etc.

But for my money, if you aren’t training boxing, you are missing out on a lot.

Like most things in a fight, it’s situational. It depends on what kind of strike you’re going for, how wary your foe is, and other things. An actual gouge would be much harder in a standing fight than a raking strike that just flicks fingertips across an eyeball. It would be easier to land such a strike as a sneak attack or a follow-up on a technique that takes the target’s hands out of line.

On the whole, though, people tend to instinctively protect their faces, so eyes are not a high-percentage target. A feint to the eyes, however, can be effective for that very reason.

(For the record, I’ve never gouged an eye. I have practiced strikes with opponents wearing goggles, though.)

How old? I am 43. I’ve never trained seriously, not super super seriously, it has always been for fun when I had the time/inclination. But, it’s been that way for over 20 years. I’m wondering how long I have left to do it. When I turn 50 I may start taking Aikido instead…

Do you fight with your dominant hand as the jab hand?

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Perhaps I should have phrased my question in terms of eye strikes. I didn’t only mean scooping the eye out of its socket but also just shoving a finger inside it deep enough to cripple it.

How much can the eyes bounce back from pressure?
I would have thought that grabbing the back of the head with one hand while using fingers/thumb of the other hand would be reasonably effective. Thanks to proprioception, it’s easy for one hand to find the other without looking and this would resemble trying to find the other hand through the skull.

Given your experience as a prison guard, I figured you might have knowledge of fights between fighters who were genuinely hostile to each other.